Mall operators extend relief measures

Workers spray disinfectant inside MBK shopping centre which is helping tenants by charging them for water and electricity only.
Workers spray disinfectant inside MBK shopping centre which is helping tenants by charging them for water and electricity only.

Many shopping centre operators have extended their relief measures to help enable tenants to continue with their businesses amid the unabated Covid-19 crisis.

Somphol Tripopnart, managing director of shopping centre business at MBK Plc, the operator of MBK, Paradise Park and The Nine Rama 9, said the company started helping its tenants on April 26 by waiving the rental fee for the hardest-hit tenants who could not settle any of their invoices, charging them only for water and electricity.

Early this month, the company extended its relief measures to cover other tenants at all three shopping complexes by reducing the rental fee by between 30-70% to mitigate the impact of the fresh wave of Covid-19 pandemic on the tenants.

“It remains necessary to waive the rental fee for some tenants. We want to support and keep them in business until the day that the shopping sentiment gets better,” Mr Somphol said.

“If we ignore and let them get away from us, on the day that the situation is back to normal, it will be difficult for them to call their staff back.”

According to Mr Somphol, the company has also developed various sales channels to help enable tenants to raise their sales opportunities and reach new customer groups to combat the drop in their revenue. The company recently opened its shop called “MBK Center@Lazada” to help tenants sell their products online.

In addition, every Wednesday the company runs live streaming via Facebook under the page “MBK Live Market”. At the same time, the company has been calling back some spaces once the contract agreements expire this year to renovate its store.

“MBK’s new image will be visible in September this year,” Mr Somphol said.

In a related development, MBK is scheduled to officially open its new community mall “The Nine Center Tiwanon” by the middle of next month.

Food Legends By MBK, which are street food services, will also become available on May 20.

Prasert Sriuranpong, managing director of Siam Retail Development, the operator of Fashion Island, Promenade and Terminal 21, said the company has also offered a rental fee reduction by 30-70% to tenants this month.

The duration of the scheme will depend on Covid-19 infections, he said.

“We would like the government to speed up inoculations as fast as possible,” he said.

“Inoculations are instrumental to reviving the economy and consumer confidence as we’ve seen in the UK, China, the US and Singapore,” Mr Prasert said.

Paphitchaya Suwandee, chief executive officer of Megabangna shopping complex, said the company also offers support to its tenants by preparing 12 big marketing campaigns to lure customers.

The complex has also negotiated with the government body in Samut Prakan to provide vaccines for its staff and tenants.

“In light of the severity of the fresh wave of the pandemic, we’ve cancelled many big campaigns this year,” he said. “But we are ready to restart the activities once the situation improves.”